Dhruba J. Chakrabarty
FREEDOM'S CHILD by Chandralekha Mehta Puffin Books, 2009, 208 pp., 199
November 2009, volume 33, No 11

An autobiographical account of the childhood and growing-up of Chandralekha Mehta, the daughter of Vijaylakshmi Pandit and the niece of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the book, as the author prefaces ‘is an account of times long over, seen through the eyes of a young girl’. It is aimed at the younger members of her close family and is necessarily a personal and intimate account of life spent among public figures of political importance and consequential events in those years. Written in lucid and simple narrative style, the author recounts private moments such as birthdays, family vacations and school. Other events of moment: elections, Congress meetings, picketing and jail, are engrossing. Association with great leaders and charismatic individuals such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, and her Mamu, Pandit Nehru are described with loving detail and nostalgia. Chronicling the life and times of a family that has played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle, Freedom’s Child vividly describes momentous events and exciting years of an earlier generation of eminent and illustrious personalities.

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